Oven Braised Short Ribs

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Ever order that $20+ entrée of braised short rib on top of some root vegetable puree and a grilled or roasted vegetable side? It’s easy to make at home.

I bought a pack of 6 short ribs which were pretty pricey (to me) at around $14. I remember I used to buy a pack of 4 ribs for $4-5 in San Diego. I didn’t buy them for awhile but had a craving for them so decided to splurge.  I also ordered a short rib dish in a fancy Italian restaurant for $29 last month. One (!!) short rib came out on top of mashed potatoes, with a side of roasted asparagus. I don’t think I will ever order that again (the meat was tough and dry), because I knew how easy it was to make at home. I ordered it in case it was so good I wanted to duplicate the recipe at home. Sadly, I didn’t. One of my biggest disappointments is when I order something at a nice restaurant and what comes out is something I could’ve easily made at home, for much less money.

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Short ribs are basically foolproof. Even if you alter some of the ingredients surrounding the short rib, as long as you braise it in the oven for a few hours, the meat is so tender it falls off the bone easily. There is no way to screw it up.

By dredging the ribs in flour and browning in on a pan, you are developing a deeper flavor for the braise. The brown bits on the bottom of the pan (mixture of flour and fat -which gives the flavor) gently lift off when you sauté the onions and carrots. The red wine along with the beef broth also add more depth and flavor. All of these steps add flavor versus dumping everything uncooked into a baking dish. So don’t skip it.

Another important tip – buy ‘bone-in’ short ribs. Bones give more flavor and help thicken the sauce.

Oven Braised Short Ribs (serves 4)

Ingredients:

  • 6 bone-in short ribs
  • oil for pan frying
  • flour for dredging
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 2 cups baby carrots
  • 8 large mushrooms, quartered
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 2 tsp. brown sugar
  • 2 bay leaves (optional)
  • 2 cups low sodium beef broth
  • 2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

*if you want a thicker sauce: after ribs are out of the oven, spoon sauce into a pot, heat to boiling, and whisk in a cornstarch+water slurry, a teaspoon at a time until it is thickened to your liking.

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Salt and pepper the short ribs, then dredge in flour, coating all sides and shaking off excess flour. Add a tablespoon of oil to a skillet, turn to medium high heat. Sear all sides of the short ribs, turning with tongs, until browned. Set ribs aside in baking dish.
  2. Using same skillet, add garlic, onions, mushrooms and carrots, sauté until onions have softened. Add red wine, cook for 2 minutes. Then add beef broth, worcestershire, brown sugar and bay leaves. Bring to a boil then pour everything into an oven safe baking dish and cover with foil.
  3. Bake for 2.5 hours. Remove bay leaves. Serve ribs on top of egg noodles, rice, or mashed potatoes.

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Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Salt and pepper the short ribs, then dredge in flour, coating all sides and shaking off excess flour. Add a tablespoon of oil to a skillet, turn to medium high heat.

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Sear all sides of the short ribs, turning with tongs, until browned. Set ribs aside in baking dish.

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Using same skillet, add garlic, onions, mushrooms and carrots, sauté until onions have softened.

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Add red wine, cook for 2 minutes.

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Then add beef broth, Worcestershire, brown sugar and bay leaves.

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Bring to a boil,

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then pour everything into an oven safe baking dish,

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and cover with foil.

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Bake for 2.5 hours. Remove bay leaves. Serve ribs on top of egg noodles, rice, or mashed potatoes.

Sprinkle with chopped parsley for color or to trick yourself into thinking it’s healthier because green stuff.

Charge everyone $29 each for this dish. Even better, accept their offer to wash the dishes.

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Enjoy!

Cantonese Pan Fried Noodles

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Since it was just my 20 month old baby and I in the house this afternoon, naturally I decided to make a lunch for 6 people. I mean, if I put in the same effort making lunch for 2 as I do for 6, I might as well make the entire package of noodles right? Also, leftovers.

Excuse the butter dish behind my noodles. And the coffee. I didn’t set up the shot all fancy.

I always thought Chinese stir fried noodles were greasy when ordering at a restaurant (or takeout). But this one surprisingly isn’t, and you can get the same fried noodle texture by just frying the noodles in a tablespoon of oil on high heat, then flipping them over to fry the other side. The high heat gives the noodles the flavor and texture of restaurant noodles, and you don’t need tons of oil to achieve the same effect.

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I also topped the noodles with minced pork, mushrooms and scallions along with a sauce made with a chicken broth base. If you don’t eat pork, you can omit it entirely, or substitute it with ground turkey or chicken (even healthier alternatives). Omit the mushrooms if you don’t like mushrooms. Add something else if you want. I threw in anything I had in the fridge for this.

Cantonese Pan Fried Noodles (serves 4-6)

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. package of fresh HK style noodles (found in most Asian markets)
  • oil for pan frying
  • 1/2 lb. ground pork
  • 5 large mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 scallions, julienned

Ingredients for Sauce:

  • 2 tsp. regular soy sauce
  • 2 tsp. low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tsp. Shaoxing wine
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. sugar
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 heaping Tbsp. cornstarch

Ingredients for marinade for pork:

  • 1 tsp. hoisin sauce
  • 1 tsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper

Directions:

1) Using a large pot or large skillet, heat up water to boil noodles with. Drop noodles in and boil for one minute. Drain in colander and rinse under cold water. Drain well and set aside.

2) In a bowl, combine all the ingredients for sauce, set aside. In another bowl, combine pork and marinade, set aside.

3) In a clean dry skillet, heat one Tbsp. of oil on high heat. Add noodles and spread evenly on the skillet. Let the bottom brown for 3-4 minutes, then flip the best you can (using tongs or spatula) to brown the other sides. This will create the crispy texture along with the soft noodles. Set noodles aside in large dish.

4) Add 1 Tbsp. oil to same skillet. On high heat, add ground pork and break up the pieces with a spatula. When browned, add mushrooms and scallions. Stir fry for around 3 minutes or until mushrooms have softened. Add sauce ingredients, and bring to a boil until thickened, around 2 minutes.* Pour sauce over top of the noodles and serve.

*If the sauce isn’t thick enough for you, make a slurry with cornstarch and chicken broth in a cup, and pour a little bit into the sauce at a time and stir until it is thickened enough.

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Directions with Photos:

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Using a large pot or large skillet, heat up water to boil noodles with. Drop noodles in and boil for one minute. Drain in colander and rinse under cold water. Drain well and set aside.

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Chop up mushrooms and scallions.

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In a bowl, combine all the ingredients for sauce, set aside.

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In another bowl, combine pork and marinade, set aside.

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In a clean dry skillet, heat one Tbsp. of oil on high heat. Add noodles and spread evenly on the skillet. Let the bottom brown for 3-4 minutes, then flip the best you can (using tongs or spatula) to brown the other sides.

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This will create the crispy texture along with the soft noodles (see the golden brown color developing). Set noodles aside in large dish.

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Add 1 Tbsp. oil to same skillet. On high heat, add ground pork and break up the pieces with a spatula.

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When browned, add mushrooms and scallions.

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Stir fry for around 3 minutes or until mushrooms have softened.

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Add sauce ingredients, and bring to a boil until thickened, around 2 minutes.*

*If the sauce isn’t thick enough for you, make a slurry with cornstarch and chicken broth in a cup, and pour a little bit into the sauce at a time and stir until it is thickened enough.

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Pour sauce over top of the noodles and serve.

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